Basics for Buyers

Buying your new home is a serious investment in the dwelling, the area and your future.

Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.

Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a o¬ne-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything o¬n your wish list, but it will keep you o¬n track for what you are looking for.

Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, o¬ne who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.

Be Objective: When you find a home, ask yourself, does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses o¬n the market, so don't make a hurried decision.

Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:

  • Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.

 

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